New York seeks US$1 billion to build 3GW of solar by 2023

  • New York Rhineback Omega Center
    More than 5,000 schools in New York are to be able to apply for assistance for installing solar arrays as part of the K Solar initiative. Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) at Rhinebeck, New YorkWikiCommons/Ekabhishek

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has called for additional funding to help achieve 3GW of solar in the state by 2023.

Submitted to New York's Public Service Commission last week, the petition outlines funding requirements to extend the state's N-Y Sun initiative to 2023.

Such an extension was outlined by state governor Andrew Cuomo last year. According to NYSERDA it would require US$864 million to maintain the current funding available for solar incentives of US$108 million a year until 2023.

The petition also outlines for a new 'MW Block' statewide incentive programme, which would eventually subsume the current solar incentives of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), the Customer-Sited Tier (CST), and the Standard Offer and Competitive PV Programs.

NYSERDA’s proposed extending of the NY-Sun Initiative in ‘MW blocks’ is to allow for 3GW of new capacity, with the dissolution of RPS-funded PV and other incentives, as the market develops and costs decline, the petition states.   

The petition is currently under review by the commission, with a decision expected in a few months.

If the petition is approved, it will overrun the State’s previous New York Solar Bill announced in June 2013 with a target for 2.2GW of new solar capacity to be added by 2023.

NYSERDA has also asked to team up with Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) to encourage solar development in the state.

Assistant director of communications at NYSERDA, Dayle Zatlin, told PV Tech the funding has yet to be approved, but  said Cuomo supports the petition and wants solar energy generation to increase in New York.

Cuomo announced an array of solar drives in his State of the State address last week.

Among these he proposed extending the N-Y Sun programme to include ‘Community Solar NY’, a community solar package designed to open up access to solar to anyone living in New York.  The package includes ‘K-Solar’, an initiative to provide on-site solar installation assistance to nearly 5,000 public schools in New York State. NYSERDA and New York Public Authority (NYPA) will also work to use solar installations on schools and other public buildings as demonstration to increase solar awareness.

The address also outlined a US$40 million 'community grids' prize. This scheme will fund the creation of new smart, decentralised grids in populated areas in a bid to increase grid resilience in the event of natural disasters such as Hurriacen Sandy.

James Gallagher, executive director for New York State Smart Grid Consortium: “Community grids protect people, businesses and infrastructure from the devastation of extreme weather and from extended power outages as were experienced following Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.”

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